Week 5 K-12 Package – The World Around Us

Come wonder with us! This week we have a collection of ideas and questions that we’ve collected about everyday things. What does morning taste like? What sounds make you smile? What do your favorite pair of shoes feel like when they are on your feet? What does the light look like at different times during the day? What is one smell that makes you worry?

We encourage you to spend this week thinking about the questions you have about your surroundings, the Earth and sky, and about yourself! What observations can you make about the world around you? Can you find something in or around your home that you think is special or unique? How would you demonstrate to someone else what you’ve picked?

How many questions about our world can you come up with after a week of making observations? We can’t wait to see what you discover and hope that you will share your observation journey using either our forums or on social media using #MITFullSTEAM (with parent permission).

Week 4 K-12 Package Released – Music and Sound

The Edgerton Center K-12 Maker team is creating Week 4, Making Music and Sounds for release Monday April 13.

In this open-ended exploration of sound and music, students will listen and investigate, tinker and make noise, and turn sound into music with their own instrument. Learning like this happens best in a community, and we are providing a moderated forum where students can share and enjoy noisy compositions and musical creations from the community.  Get a taste of our projects – watch the Make a Kitchen Symphony video

The open-ended projects are intended to take a little pressure off of parents, give kids permission to learn through play, and let learners spend more time digging into the favorite parts of the project. Hopefully, adults will get in on the joy of making noise.

We get that there are many families who don’t have access to online resources, and will not be able to access this curriculum.  These materials will continue to be available when we return to our schools and educators can use them in face-to-face activities.

Upcoming Webinar on Remote Learning Guidance

MIT’s Teaching Systems Lab invites you to an upcoming webinar about their recent report: Remote Learning Guidance from State Education Agencies: A First Look. When: April 16, 3pm Eastern Presenter:  Justin Reich, Asst. Professor at MIT and director of the Teaching Systems Lab Free Registration: https://mit.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RCFT407DTja0zELxJ4QJYw
All registrants will receive a recording link after the webinar. 
In the webinar, they’ll discuss:

  • Relevant research on digital divides, virtual schooling, and education in emergencies
  • Findings from an analysis of guidance published by the 50 U.S. state education agencies
  • Strategies for online and non-digital remote learning
  • Recommendations for states, schools, districts, and educators for extended school closures

If you have questions in advance, please email them to jreich@mit.edu, and they’ll try to address them during the presentation and Q&A. 

New Feature – Teaching, Learning, Parenting and Gaming

We have introduced a new featured area of our K-12 resources on Teaching, Learning, Parenting and Gaming.

Do you have kids who are at home playing video games?  Do you worry about it being “a waste time”?  Video games can actually lead to great learning.  We are making a podcast series and video game recommendations available to make sure that you are prepared to support your child as they learn through games.  

You can find the main page here, which includes our video podcast series and a list of games to think about.

Week 3 Package Released – Exploring and Living in Outer Space

We are happy to announce that the MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) has created a Package for Full STEAM Ahead! The Package offers a number of learning prompts to dive into SEI’s research endeavors, from CubeSats to space food to lunar exploration! Many of these activity prompts are perfect for family learning, so we encourage working together to explore space hands-on! If you have questions in your adventures, you can post them on the package’s online forum. There will even be a Question and Answer session from the group, so please post your questions in the forum. Happy Exploring!

Justin Reich’s Tips for Transitioning to Teaching Online and Remote

Justin Reich from MIT’s Teaching Systems Lab (tsl.mit.edu) has been working with teachers and administrators to help schools innovate and provide high quality education for all students. His work is particularly germane in the time of COVID-19 when so many schools are having to abruptly and radically shift their practices.

He sat down to provide the community with “Five Tips for Transitioning to Online and Remote Teaching” in this video:

The Teaching Systems Lab has its own page at tsl.mit.edu/covid19 with links to new teachlabpodcast.com episodes and to their new report on remote learning guidance from the 50 US state education agencies. They also have an open dataset with links to the guidance, and their analyses. 

Also check out Justin’s recent JWEL session on “Online Learning in the Age of COVID-19“.

We hope you find these resources helpful.

Week 2 K-12 Care Package Launched on Invention

We are happy to announce that the Lemelson-MIT Program has created a package of fun invention activities and videos for the Full STEAM Ahead initiative! You can find them here on our Week 2 page. We invite you to take advantage of the time you may be spending at home by gathering any tools and reusable materials you already have and diving into the activities we have on this site. If you have questions along the way, you can post them on the site’s online forum.

Happy Inventing!

Inventive Learning

We wanted to let you know that next week’s K-12 learning package should be exciting, and is nearly here.

On Monday we’ll invite you to join us in a one week exploration of invention education – a transdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning the unique ways inventors find and solve problems that matter. Hands-on activities, videos and online resources will help young people of all ages start down a pathway to invention!

Keep an eye out for launch on Monday, March 30.

K-12 and Higher Ed Resources

In the first few days we’ve seen thousands of visitors arriving on Full STEAM Ahead. Welcome to everyone. We wanted to point out that in addition to the weekly K-12 projects, that we also have additional K-12 resources, and resources for higher education as well.

Some of those resources are growing rapidly. There is a weekly BLOSSOMS challenge that you can find on that page.

The forums are open for conversation and support. We are monitoring these and will be staffing with some volunteer contributors soon.

We hope you find these useful.